Wrapping up Week Three of the Kayla Itsine's Bikini Body Guide (BBG) 12 week programme, Tina and Tessa are getting used to incorporating workouts into their schedules.
While Tina is finding she might need to up her food intake, Tessa is finding her zen - and struggling to work out with grazed knees.
Here's how Week Three shaped up for our challengers:
It takes about three weeks to make something a habit. We're in the third week of BBG. In a little victory, squeezing in 30 to 40 minutes a day to work out has now become easy.
On weekdays: I wake up, go to work, do BBG in the afternoon, make dinner, relax on the couch, and sleep.
On weekends: I wake up, do BBG, then continue with more leisurely weekend pursuits.
And as a reward for this new-found habit, I have a new found arm muscle. Score.
And my pants fit a bit better. Sure, the variations on squats is getting a bit repetitive, but I don't mind it much. (Still haven't touched the 600 rep leg challenge though. I'm holding that for the weekend).
At this point, it may be time for me to make other tweaks so BBG works better for me. I've noticed it's much harder to get out of bed in the mornings, even though I'm in bed by 10pm.
I've also noticed that I'm probably not fuelling myself well for these workouts. I have to be out the door by 6:20am, and at that point I don't want to eat anything because I'm more concerned about catching my bus. So come 11am, I'm STARVING and would probably bite your arm - if not your head - off.
Kayla has a diet plan set out for each day, to which I protest following. A daily menu might have three tuna crackers for lunch, or a coffee as a snack. That's not lunch or a snack. I'm cynical that the menu provides enough satiety for me. I was concerned that the servings were too small for someone who walks three kilometres daily to and from the bus stop without exercise. Adding BBG on top of that - is this menu enough?
What I do hope to do is take Kayla's daily menus as a guide to plan and eat small meals more often (starting at 6:21am), aiming to hit the ratio of carbs, fruits, vegies and protein that her meals have. Perhaps if I'm better fed, the exercises won't take so much out of me, and I can rise out of bed like a sunny morning person. Here's hoping.
How I'm feeling: Positive, but sluggish. An exercise regime is better powered by good sleep and consistent, healthy meals. Also: chuffed that I have an arm muscle.
Listening to: Justin Bieber's Sorry on Pandora. #sorrynotsorry
Least favourite workout: Burpees. Trying to jump up from plank position is possibly the most pathetic-looking action I can take.
Favourite workout: Squats, as I zone out due to the repetition.
Tripping over and covering myself in grazes reminds me of lunchtimes in the school yard. It's been a long time (okay, only a year) since the last time I was covered in grazes, which actually sent me to A&E and gave me nasty scars as reminders.
Trying to perform Week Three arms and abs on grazed hands and knees does not make for a productive workout, although the pain from my injuries took over from the bleeding sensation I felt during tricep dips.
After falling over and nearly eating the concrete on Monday morning, I received numerous "you're gross" looks from surrounding gyms buddies as blood trickled down my leg while I squatted and lunged.
I will admit, I felt tough carrying on with my physical labour despite being battered and bruised. In reality, I got up at 5:30am to get to the gym after getting home late from a delayed flight the night before. So there was no way after waking at that hour, tripping over and bleeding everywhere that I was going to take my sorry self back to bed.
Anyway, enough about my lack of coordination. Let's chat about progress.
When you work out consistently, you feel better overall. We talk about progress like "I've lost an inch off my hips" or, "my thighs have toned up and my pot belly is a flat belly".
Although those things are often the motivation for getting to the gym and eating well, we should acknowledge the other benefits of regular exercise:
Waking up in the mornings, I feel great. I'm not feeling bloated and I have plenty more energy. I don't feel sluggish nor do I find it difficult to drag my butt out of bed. I sleep more soundly at night (and earlier for that matter), my skin is clear and I have better posture both at work and in the gym.
I think we often forget that taking care of ourselves and working out goes beyond how toned your stomach is. If you find yourself tired at the end of the work day, often getting to the gym is going to leave you feeling more energized, happier and motivated at the end.
I am usually a go-go-go type of girl. For anyone that knows me, I don't really stop. I am always doing something. I enjoy my down time but I often feel like I haven't achieved anything unless I'm moving.
So HIIT (high intensity interval training) sessions are my ideal workout - they kick my butt to the point I can almost not walk. However, this week for my LISS (low intensity steady state) sessions, I've chosen to go to yoga classes at Studio Red Yoga. Getting my "om" on has left me feeling more relaxed and released plenty of unwanted tension.
My poor muscles are rejoicing in this much needed TLC. It's a nice change from bashing them with another load of jump lunges.
Taking the time to slow down and breathe is something I am coming to love. Studio Red in Auckland's City Works Depot has become my haven.
With pretty dressing rooms and great teachers who offer one-on-one support - my LISS sessions are quickly overtaking my HIIT passion. Most of the classes I've taken have been hot yoga (not that we need the extra heat at the moment), so even though it's slow I'm sweating a disgustingly large amount.
How I'm feeling this week: My skin is clearer, I feel less bloated and my legs have toned up even more since last week - see ya thunder thighs.
Workout music: Whatever is playing at Studio Red LISS sessions or Never Be Like You by Flume for HIIT sessions
Favourite exercise: Yoga stretches, particularly cobra and downward dog
Least favourite exercise: 4x Mountain climbers + 1x pushup: These are SO hard
Check in on Monday as the girls kick into Week Four.